Posts Tagged ‘gw2’

MMOs: The Stupid Hat Edition

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Perhaps I’m getting old. Perhaps I’ve just played MMOs for too many years. Perhaps I’m just overly cranky after the horrific headaches which have sidelined me during much of this month. I find myself firmly in that “You kids get the hell off my lawn” state of shaky belligerence and ire when it comes to gaming. ArenaNet, Bioware? Y’all can both kiss my butt, to be honest. Trion is the only one who gets a pass, because they make good games and take care of their players. You can stay, come up here on the porch and have a glass of tea.

The Guild Wars 2 forums have melted down with anger and concern about the announcement that ArenaNet had, contrary to their original manifesto, actually created a gear treadmill game. There have been innumerable threads and posts deleted and locked in true ArenaNet style, but what was allowed to remain is a 190 page, 9484 post (and still growing by the minute) thread. I’ve been watching it with popcorn in hand, rather enjoying it all because I haven’t played GW2 in a while. Prior to this major misstep, they’d already pissed me off by almost totally ignoring bots and deleting posts on the forums which complained about them, so I really have nothing at stake here.

I was looking forward to going back to Star Wars after it went free to play, since they were going to leave access to story questlines and limit everything else, which was fine with me. I could care less about access to Huttball or being able to run the same instances over and over again. I have to say, though, that this is the cheapest, shoddiest f2p conversion ever. Not giving you bank access is a bit unpleasant, but I can see that as a legitimate perk to sell in the shop. Inability to customise your UI and add additional action bars is pretty ridiculous, as is the fact that non-preferred players don’t have access to sprint. But the real kicker for me? The inability to hide the headgear slot. This from a game which is famous for having the ugliest headgear ever. Remember, I want to come back for the story, which was superb. I loved the way that they handled cutscenes, and seeing my character acting out the choices that I had made for her. And, shallow though it may be, I simply cannot do that if I have to wear a stupid hat.

 

There she is, my beautiful, snarky Sith Lord wearing a hat that looks like a prop from a really bad 1950s sci fi movie. “I am Electra, from the planet Electronikos. Take me to your leader, Earthling, or I will kill you with my amplified brainwaves!” I just can’t do it. And I refuse to pay to remove it because it would be rewarding them for a really, really petty choice.

So that game, as well, can just get offa my freakin’ lawn.

And like the cranky old fart in the yellowing undershirt scaring kids away from his yard, I don’t have a lot of people left to talk to, and it’s a bit lonely. I still have a Rift sub, and will keep that up for a bit. But aside from that? Not exactly a wide range of choices for escapist fare. I miss being able to lose myself in a game. There was a time when I could lose hours and hours and love every minute of it. And now? Too cranky. Too disappointed. Too much of an old fart. And that makes me sad.

Guild Wars 2: Madness

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

I’ve been trying to smell the roses, I really have. Not having to rush to endgame to keep up with friends or the guild is wonderful, and I’ve been indulging myself in everything: exploring, completion achievements, gathering, playing alts. And yet, still I level without feeling as though I am grinding or even realising that I am doing so.

We have a couple of level 80s in the guild, one who has been there for several days. On the other hand, my necromancer Ravven is just shy of 40, I have a level 20 ranger, and several alts. Many evenings are similar to my experience of last night, which is doing chained quests in a mad tumble with a ton of other players. I think I did three levels just doing those and exploring Harathi Hinterlands. My bags became full several times over, and I sold everything that I couldn’t use – I was having too much fun going with the flow to leave.

At the moment, the plan is to level Ravven the necromancer and Dravven the ranger, and then afterwards turn to the terrible twins, Kenzi and Kaylee Nyx (elementalist and engineer, respectively). They are going to be a lot of fun.

 

Guild Wars 2: The First Week

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

I’d intended to do a writeup on the headstart and launch of Guild Wars 2, but I’ve been busy either playing or working. The headstart weekend was wonderful; we’d done the traditional shopping trip for gaming junk food and energy drinks, and the alarm was set for 4:20am on Saturday. Gods, did that feel early when the time actually came! We both got our really important names (although I lost Kaylee for my engineer) and were able to log in and play pretty much non-stop through until Monday evening. It was a bank holiday in the UK, and we had a very well-timed three day weekend. Hurrah!

This was me during headstart (sorry, I forgot who’s blog I nicked this off):

There were occasional issues, the normal login server problems, lag and so on. Guild chat and functionality is still borked today, although ArenaNet has posted that they are working on that at this moment. I have a very odd problem with lag that I cannot figure out: the game runs at an unplayable 10-15fps with the harddrive churning away unless I start EVGA Precision, which seems to shut whatever process is affecting the game. With that running, I have a playable 25-30fps (I have an older machine which could use a new motherboard and chipset). Any ideas?

I love this game. My necromancer is only 26 right now, due to my preferences for exploring, vistas, taking screenshots and just dinking around. There are people who have reached level cap already, and I feel very sorry for them. In a game with admittedly no endgame aside from what you’ve been doing all along, why would you rush to endcap? Madness. The game is beautiful and immersive, and although I still hate the wooden cutscenes the story has depth. I am still torn between the different professions, which is a testament to how enjoyable and viable each one is.

I hate the queue system with a passion. I end up staying in the overflow servers just because it is such an irritation to be constantly bounced back and forth between them, with message windows filling the centre of the screen at inopportune moments (like in the middle of a tough fight). This is the one thing that I really wish would change (as unlikely as that is at this point). I can live with it, but it’s one of the single most irritating “features” of a game that I have ever experienced.

All in all, a great launch and a wonderful, immersive game. I’m going to be living here for quite some time to come.

 

Necromancer

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

I was bored today, not having any freelance work (we’re all gonna starve! run for the hills!) so I worked on a little portrait of my prospective Guild Wars 2 Necromancer. Since I used the face that she’ll have in game, she looks different from the way that I originally imagined her: skinny, almost child-like, with big eyes, hollow cheekbones and streaming white hair. She’s not actually an albino, but she’s close. She grew up in the tunnels beneath the city, and the warrens where the poor scratch out a living. If she had parents (as she must have done) she has no memory of them. Very early on she realised that she could talk to the dead; they were her first friends. As she grew older she realised that not only could she communicate with the dead, she could also call them, make them rise and do her bidding. Whispers began, and soon she lost the few streetrat friends that she had. After that, she walked alone, accompanied only by the spirits of the lost ones.

Teh drama, huh?

 

Guild Wars 2 Necromancer

Guild Wars 2: Final Stress Test Thoughts

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

We had a lot of fun in the final stress test last night. By fun, you have to understand that what I really mean is that I got a little taste of my drug of choice, just a bump to still my shaking hands and quell the addiction temporarily. :) Bring on Saturday morning!

Logging in was quite scary, as I encountered a brand-new problem after login: black screen and game music without the ability to tab out or do anything except close the program (which was “not responding”) via the Task Manager. Quite worrisome. I did a clean install of Nvidia drivers and was finally able to get to character selection, although my framerate was MUCH worse than in previous stress tests and the BWEs. 15-25 fps was the standard for the night; I didn’t try WvW or anything that would have caused me to finally lock up.

These are the system specs from my dxdiag file:

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460

Not a new PC, not a high-end one, but I’ve been able to play all other games with textures and so on on high settings. Why can’t I play GW2 adequately? (Note: buying a new PC is unfortunately not an option.)

Aside from the initial problems, I did a lot of running around on various characters. I still don’t know which to choose as a main! I’ve never played a game that had me so conflicted over initial choices. I will probably start a human necromancer, a human or Norn ranger, and an Asura elementalist and let them duke it out, winner to become my main.

There were dances! And I really hated them aside from Charr and Asura. I know that the human and Norn dances were funny (although Norn DEFINITELY should have been Techno Viking), but if I’m stuck with one single, main dance I’d prefer it to look a bit better – but perhaps I’m still scarred by being stuck with the Macarena all these years in Warcraft. :) Yes, it’s quite obvious that ArenaNet will be selling dances in the cash shop…but I don’t want to have to buy a decent dance. /cry

 

 

And then we get to professions, which I didn’t have a chance to play with during the BWEs (being too concerned with choosing a profession and building the perfect face for each one). Phil spent quite a lot of time playing with the discovery function of crafting, and it’s actually really nicely designed. I think I’m going to go with Tailoring and either Artificing or Cooking on the necro (yeah, I know that cooking is a pain in the ass). I’ll be making lots of bags for everyone, in any event, in the beginning.

Two days, twenty-something hours until headstart? I’ll never make it! :) See you there.

Guild Wars 2: Decisions, Decisions

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

 

I’ve spent this beta weekend trying to decide on mains. I’d been set on rolling a human street rat Necromancer as my main…but having seen the supreme adorableness that is Asura, I’m not sure. They are freaking adorable. I generally don’t like small characters, as your point of view is too low and armor also looks odd, as if it had been squished to fit. ArenaNet has done a simply wonderful job with Asura. Not only do you feel as though you are playing a “normal” character in terms of size and seeing around other people, the animations are perfect. As soon as I saw my Asura elementalist spin her staff like a baton while at rest, I fell in love. Asura can be as creepy or kawaii as you wish, but either way they are tiny packages made of win.

Elementalist made me re-think Necromancer as a profession; it was just so damned fun setting stuff on fire. But then I started thinking about how much fun Ranger was (as long as you could keep your pet alive), and I became confused. I literally have no idea whatsoever which I’ll roll as main at launch.

What I did decide on are races and faces. My Necromancer will be the aforementioned pigmentally-challenged street rat with an affinity for dead things. My Asura Elementalist will be red-haired and floppy-eared, a bit like a serial-killer kitten. My ranger I’m probably going to also roll as human, although I was tempted by Norn. I love dark-skinned, ethnic characters in games, but usually the skins aren’t done well, or you can’t get any reasonably ethnic-looking features. Guild Wars 2 is a bit like that – many of the dark skins are either of a weird grey/purple cast, or are oranger than a character from Jersey Shore. They don’t really have a natural, dark mixed-race black or Asian skin that looks good in game, so I will have to do what I can.

Perhaps I’ll start them all at the same time, and rotate between them until I settle on a main. Or perhaps I’ll just play my Asura Elementalist, because an adorable gremlin who sets things on fire is just too much to resist.

POSTSCRIPT:

I saw this on a GW2 Reddit thread – a recap of an overhead conversation between two Asuran children:

  • Your mama’s IQ is so low, she thinks norn cows go “moot”.
  • Your mama’s IQ is so low, she thinks “crafting” is something you do on the “criver”
  • Your mama’s IQ is so low, she thinks sylvari and golem are precious metals
  • Your mama’s IQ is so low, she thinks Blood Legion is something you should see a doctor about
  • Your mama’s IQ is so low, she thinks “elemental” is four letters in the middle of the alphabet
  • Your mama’s IQ is so low, she thinks a golemancer is what you get when you ask a golemquestion

 

Squee!